Seven things I learned about theatre in the past 10 days


There are many things to know about theatre. Maybe one day I will know them all. For now, I am satisfied with the following seven things I learned about theatre in the last 10 days:

1) The bit in Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin comes in to scream obscenities at all the salesmen was written for the movie – and is not in the play.

2) Daniel Brooks prefers not to do interviews via email.

3) Canadian playwright and actor Marjorie Chan thinks that questions that relate “identity performance” to “theatrical performance” are pretentious.

4) There is a thing called “Twitter plays.”

5) Shakespeare is still boring as hell.

6) The theatre blog market is becoming saturated with high-quality offerings. Those of us who are hoping to retain or acquire market share without putting in the work might not drown, but we ain’t going to thrive neither. You don’t get a prize just for being alive, as they say.

7) The contemporary electronica group Massive Attack once did a soundtrack for a 1965 Samuel Beckett film called, Man Next Door. It’s reminiscent of that Pink Floyd-Wizard of Oz mashup Dark Side of the Rainbow – minus the awesome.

So that’s me all caught up. Do you have anything you’ve learned about theatre in the past 10 days that you’d like to share?

A moratorium on Shakespeare

From Lyn Gardner at the Guardian UK theatre blog, Should Shakespeare be barred?:

“Shakespeare is our cultural medicine, often nasty but we swallow it all the same because like cod liver oil we think it must be good for us.”

“As the US critic Gordon Rogoff so succinctly put it: ‘Shakespeare is feared by the young precisely because their elders are so damned sanctimonious about him.’ Every Shakespeare revival should treat the play as if it was brand new and the ink barely dry on the page, and until that happens and we have worked out how Shakespeare really can be our contemporary in 21st century Britain, maybe we should do him a favour and give him a rest.”

Do we have this same problem with Shakespeare in North America? How about a five-year moratorium on performing Shakespeare in Canada?